Many high-tech companies rolled out unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions for the first time when working-from-anywhere became the new normal last year. The companies needed a cloud-based system that could enable their distributed teams to work via messaging, video, and phone. And it caught on, with 48% of tech firms reporting they’re extremely satisfied and another 43% somewhat satisfied, according to a new study by Hanover Research.
How has UCC helped high-tech to succeed despite the workplace separation? Very effectively according to the numbers. Overall, 44% saw improved productivity; 25.8% experienced cost savings; and 27% achieved higher revenue, according to a recent study of 476 high-tech customers.
Amid these positive results, the study of high-tech firms also revealed something curious. Initially, UCC may have been perceived as a “quick fix” for tech firms with legacy PBXs or other outmoded phone solutions. Adopted reactively, in response to a crisis, many tech firms are yet to plumb the strategic or even practical possibilities of UCC.
Today, many firms recognize that they’re underutilizing UCC. Over the course of the past year, half of the tech firms in the Hanover study acknowledged that they could get more from their UCC platform beyond enabling just basic communications. Do these firms simply need more time to turn that corner?
When underutilization happens
In a way, the underutilization is no surprise. When your primary focus is keeping your business communications afloat, you’re not prioritizing collaborative workflows or looking to integrate with apps like Salesforce—among the keys to maximizing the value of a communications platform.
Utilization is anything but uniform in high-tech where it’s not unusual for teams to employ different sets of communications tools, particularly if they’re based in different cities. When it comes to tools, tech culture often goes with the flow: whatever makes everyone happiest and most productive.
In fact, just 59% of high-tech firms in the Hanover study said that they mandate all employees use the same UCC services. Sometimes the UCC platform is only provided to executives, or only deployed in one region. If you believe the point of a collaborative platform is to get everyone working on the same page, it may surprise you to learn that nearly a third of firms let teams choose which UCC application they prefer from an approved list.
But deploying multiple communications platforms can create its own sets of problems for high-tech firms. When a tech team chooses one app for messaging and another for video and still another for phone, workers waste time toggling between them.
Now tech firms are starting to recognize this problem. Nearly three in five companies In the Hanover study indicated that they plan to increase productivity by reducing the amount of juggling between platforms. And the recent RingCentral customer success survey showed this inefficiency can be reduced by 31% with the RingCentral platform.
A more strategic approach
What happens when a RingCentral Office high-tech customer uses the platform strategically? They see the kind of results that spurred Cross Company to dump a primitive and inflexible phone solution in favor of a unified communications solution. Cross is a geographically distributed company based in Greensboro, North Carolina that sells a wide range of products in areas such as IoT and advanced robotics.
RingCentral not only improved their reliability and modernized their phone capabilities it established much-needed virtual or video collaboration between teams. “No need to tie our team to a physical phone in the office, when we can use RingCentral and let them communicate wherever they are, on whatever device they have,” said Nicholas Laws, IT Support Specialist, Cross.
Cross now has a platform capable of facilitating collaboration between teammates in dozens of U.S. locations. In fact, all 500 employees have RingCentral accounts with direct dial numbers and a unified app on their desktops and smartphones. Sales reps have become more responsive to customers, answering calls on laptops or mobile phones, whichever happens to be more convenient. “That’s definitely improving our productivity,” adds Laws.
Still, nearly two-in-five UCC adopters have yet to standardize on it, according to the Hanover Research study. Successful team collaboration is often a matter of fostering trust between co-workers and establishing that the collaboration technology is both secure and reliable too.
High-tech firms that think strategically about fully implementing UCC platforms such as RingCentral Office can innovate and create advantages that only happen when everyone’s on the same page. Communications today aren’t just real-time video meetings; collaboration often happens via messaging or with shared files—and it’s usually not with everyone online simultaneously. Enabling high-tech team collaboration is the quickest way to foster a collaborative culture, no matter where everyone is located.
Click here to learn more about RingCentral solutions for your high-tech business.
1 Metrigy Workplace Collaboration Study: 2021-22
2 Metrigy Workplace Collaboration Study: 2021-22
Originally published May 11, 2021, updated Dec 30, 2022